- Special Sections
- Public Notices
In regard to the ongoing deliberations of the budget for the Roane County School System, it has been brought to my attention that there is a request for a 14-cent increase to the county property tax. This is to allow the schools’ budget to balance and schools to start on time without major cuts to programs. I support this increase.
I am a lifetime resident of Roane County, and have lived in Rockwood most of my life. I attended school in Rockwood and sent two daughters through the Rockwood system. Because of the education my daughters received in the county system, they have gone on to be successful members of the Rockwood community, one in health care and one as a teacher.
I have grandchildren who have attended, currently attend or will soon attend school in Rockwood. My oldest grandson, Peyton Robinette, graduated last month as valedictorian of his class at Rockwood High School. My grandson, Colton, is a student at Rockwood Middle School; my niece, Sailor Presley, attends Ridge View Elementary; and her younger brother, Brighton Presley, will follow in her footsteps a year from now. To say that I value education would be an understatement, but to not support our local school system would be a travesty.
I am unable to be in attendance at the scheduled public forum on Monday, therefore I am putting my thoughts on paper to allow my voice be heard. Beyond grandchildren, I have three additional ties to this school system: my son-in-law, Bruce Robinette, is a teacher and coach at Roane County High School in Kingston. My wife, Jeanne Henley, is an educational assistant, and my oldest daughter, Heather Robinette, is a math coach and teacher, both at Ridge View Elementary School in Rockwood. I believe all of their positions are at risk in some capacity if your commission does not vote for this tax increase.
I have heard other cuts may include but not be limited to school support services, school resource officers, our alternative school, after-school programs and athletics. I cannot fathom what the future of our county will be if we turn our backs on the needs of this school system. Our students are the future of our communities. It is because of education and our teachers that our students receive the foundation on which to build their futures. I have had many conversations with my daughter, Heather, regarding students at her school which lead me to believe that our schools are the only stronghold that many students have.
I am pleading with you to reconsider approval of this proposed tax increase. Many may say that the people of Roane County simply cannot afford to pay more. I am of the opinion that we cannot afford not to pay more.
The children of our county are worth so much more than the 14-cent increase being asked of us as citizens of Roane County.